Celtic Connections


It’s that time of year again when the good folk of Glasgow (and elsewhere) brave the cold for the warm sup of Celtic Connections, better than chicken soup for the soul in these dark January nights.

There’s the usual array of star names. This year Lucinda Williams, Kris Kristofferson, Rickie Lee Jones, Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson are all on board while the likes of Rhiannon Gidding, John Grant and Patti Griffin should be familiar to readers. Over the next few posts Blabber’n’Smoke will be highlighting some acts we’ve reviewed who are appearing, perhaps less stellar in the billing but guaranteed to appeal.

Cam Penner Tron Theatre. Saturday 16th January

Penner (along with his musical wizard Jon Wood) brings his sparse, cold songs, steeped in nature and history to The Tron. His last album, To Build A Fire was universally lauded and two of its songs were used by the BBC for their series Stonemouth. He’s got a new album, Sex and Politics out this month so we can expect some of that to be aired. We reviewed his last Glasgow show  here

The Mike and Ruthy Band/ Sawitsky & Koulack Old Fruitmarket Sunday 17th January

Looking forward to this one. Debut  Celtic Connections performances for both acts with Mike and Ruthy bringing a full band including a horn section over for what should be a rollickingly good show. We  noted that they have a solid propulsive folk rock sound on their album, Bright As You Can .Meanwhile Sawitsky & Koulack were responsible for the haunting old time guile of Fiddle & Banjo


We’ll look at some more of the hidden gems of Celtic Connections soon and see you if you’re at any of these shows.


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